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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Aston’

Elizabeth Edmondson

I recently learned that Elizabeth Edmondson – AKA Elizabeth Aston and Elizabeth Pewsey – died in January 2016.  I was sorry to learn of her death as she has become over the years one of my favourite authors.  I first came across her writing under the name of Elizabeth Pewsey and the first book I read was ‘Divine Comedy’ – now retitled ‘The World, the Flesh and the Bishop’. This is the second book in the six book Mountjoy series – social comedies set in and around the fictional Northern city of Eyot, these are delightful stories with fascinating characters and more than a hint of the supernatural at times.

Without realising they were by the same author I went on to read her series of historical novels featuring the five imaginary daughters of Elizabeth and Darcy from Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.  One day I happened to glance idly at the author photograph and realised that Elizabeth Pewsey and Elizabeth Aston were one and the same person. I then discovered that she also wrote as Elizabeth Edmondson and I have since gone on to read her other novels – such as ‘The Frozen Lake’ and ‘The Art of Love’.

She has written a variety of novels – all of which are worth reading in my opinion and many of which are sadly underrated.  I think with her latest crime novels set in the 1950s – ‘A Man of Some Repute’ and ‘A Question of Inheritance’ she was starting to reach a wider audience and I hope her reputation will continue to grow.

Elizabeth  – you will be missed and my sympathies go out to your family and friends.

https://jillysheep.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3&action=edit  Mountjoy novels

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The True Darcy Spirit

Cassandra made a mistake when she fell in love and eloped only to find that her lover has feet of clay and only wanted her for her money.  She leaves him and vows to make her own way in the world and support herself by painting.  But Cassandra isn’t well acquainted with the ways of the world and she soon finds herself the focus of Lord Usborne’s attention as he wants to make her his latest mistress.

I read this book several years ago and have recently listened to the audio book and found it just as good as the first time I read it.  I liked Camilla, one of the characters in the first book in this series – Mr Darcy’s Daughters – and she reappears in this book.  I liked the characters of Horatio Darcy, the banker, with whom Cassandra crosses swords when she tries to access her own fortune.

If you like well written historical novels with glimpses of Jane Austen’s original characters then this might be of interest to you.  I think it is well written and entertaining and it takes the Pride and Prejudice characters a generation further on in time.  This is the third book in the series but the books in the series can be read in any order..

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MR DARCY'S DAUGHTERS: A DARCY NOVEL

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have read it twice and have recently listened to the audio book edition..  I think the author has been sensible in leaving the major Pride and Prejudice characters in the background and imagining how the children of Darcy and Elizabeth might have turned out.

Camilla – the second child – is very like her mother and Letitia – the oldest – reminded me of Mary – Elizabeth’s blue stocking sister.  The plot and its ramifications grows out of the characters of the main protagonists and the scrapes they get themselves into.  What the book does highlight well are the changes in morals and the treatment and behaviour of women by 1818 – 3 years after Waterloo.  The eighteenth century ways are disappearing and people are becoming more prudish and less tolerant.  These shifts in themselves account for the changes in behaviour of Mr and Mrs Gardiner and the former Colonel Fitzwilliam.

The book is well written and the characters believable.  Jane Austen it isn’t and nor is it meant to be but I think it comes close to being similar to the book Jane Austen might have written if she had been writing today.

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MR DARCY'S DRAMA (The Darcy Novellas Book 4)

This is number four in the Darcy Novellas series which features Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy and various other Austen characters as well as new characters, some of which also appear in the author’s six Darcy themed novels.  Mr Darcy’s Drama can be read as a standalone story as can all the others including the novels.  In this story Mr and Mrs Darcy are confined to Pemberley because of bad weather along with some guests and their daughters’ newly appointed governess – Theodosia Beckford, a gentlewoman fallen on hard times.

The party decide to put in a play aided by a large collection of theatrical and historical costumes.  Theodosia has written a play which they all fall on with glee as it is a melodrama with plenty of opportunities for everyone to show off their acting skills.  This is an entertaining and light-hearted read for anyone who enjoys Jane Austen spin offs as well as anyone who enjoys historical novels with a little humour.

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The Painted Fan (A Short Story)

Anna Gosforth falls in love with a handsome face but maybe she is being taken in by good looks and not considering what it would be like to actually be married to the gentleman concerned.  Then there’s Mr Vere who seems to materialise out of nothing every time she needs someone to rescue her from a socially awkward situation.  Set against the background of the fragile and temporary peace with Napoleon, Anna starts to realise that she is intelligent and she does want to know what is going on in France.

This is an entertaining short story which can be read at a sitting.  If you enjoy a light-hearted Regency romance with a touch of humour and a sprinkling of danger then this might be for you.  For those who have read and enjoyed this author’s Mountjoy series then this one features a cameo appearance by an early nineteenth century Lord Mountjoy.

 

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MR DARCY'S HOUSE PARTY: A Darcy Novella (THE DARCY NOVELS)

 

Elizabeth and Darcy return to Pemberley hoping for a quiet weekend only to find they have a visitor – Lady Sarah Fitzwilliam – Darcy’s cousin. She is escaping from measles amongst her younger half brothers and sisters and also from a proposal of marriage which she isn’t sure she wants to accept. While Darcy and Elizabeth are not too disturbed at Sarah’s arrival they are somewhat put out when Sarah’s suitor also turns up. It seems the peace of Pemberley is doomed to be shattered as more and more welcome and unwelcome visitors arrive.

This is a light hearted short story/novella very much in the tradition of the rest of this author’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ spin offs. It is an enjoyable and amusing read with some laugh out loud moments too. It kept me entertained and amused for a couple of hours as it is well written and the Austen characters who make an appearance are true to their originals.

 

Recommended to anyone who likes well written Austen sequels as well as those who enjoy amusing and light hearted historical fiction.

 

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Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston

If you were an author how would you feel about being asked to complete a previously unknown and newly discovered Jane Austen manuscript? Georgina Jackson – an American academic living in London – is asked to do just that in three months. She has previously had a prize winning literary novel published and has been selected by her fearsome agent, Livia, as the ideal author to complete the book.

But there is one problem that Gina can see straight away – she has never read any of Jane Austen’s novels and has no intention of doing so. Her particular historical period is the late nineteenth century and she prefers misery and hardship to romantic comedy. But Gina needs money otherwise she will have to return to America so she signs the contract and then spends longer than she should putting off the unwelcome task. Her landlord – banker turned student, Henry, and his sister Maud who has run away from her boarding school – try to help Gina with all sorts of strategies.

Fans of Jane Austen spin offs will love this book. Those who have yet to read Jane Austen can read it just for the story. Writers can read it for the excellent description of writer’s block. Anyone who wants a feel good story with a literary background will also enjoy it. I read it in a day and loved it. The characters are believable and there’s the extra interest of spotting people and names from Austen’s novels especially when Gina starts thinking she is seeing flashes from the past. I loved the section set in Bath with its examples of fanatical Janeites. I thoroughly recommend this book but most especially to those who have read Elizabeth Aston’s previous `Pride and Prejudice’ sequels.

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